Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas

May you have
Health and Happiness
Through the Christmas holiday
and 2007

Third Annual Route Two Bake Off

Third annual Route Two Bake Off judging has been completed. The judge is me--afterall I am the most qualified. The First and Second winners did not enter--is my contest a jinx?

The contest opens when the first treats appear. These can be either found inside mailboxes or brought into the post office. Let me say that this has been a bumper year for food gifts. If an indication of the economy is food gifts left in the mailbox, then we are definitely in an upswing. And, I have a very rural route with very good cooks.

On to the judging. The first treat in the door the first week in December was Diane's hot cinnamon rolls. Wonderful because of their freshness and the fact that they were, in fact, homemade. It is a strong beginning--can it hold for the entire month.

There were lots of quick breads but Jeanne's was the best. I can't put my finger on what it is, perhaps apple? I do know there are those cherrsains and nuts in there. Sharon's Poppy Seed is a winner as is Brenna's pumpkin. I also received a good ole standby banana.

In the cookie category we have many excellent examples. The best overall plate goes to Sherri, who happens to be Jeanne's daughter. Every cookie on the plate was perfect and delicious. Having said that, there were several others, including Billie's which were also noteworthy. The best example of a handful of hot out-of-the oven chocolate chip cookies thrown in a bag goes to Nellie. But then, she spoils me quite often with that treat.

In the candy category we have Anncarolyn's as the winner. In fact, she should be the overall winner just because it is her candy our kids always ask for when they walk in the door at Christmas. She makes this coconut fudge that Russell Stovers should use. Makes my mouth water to think about it. There were other great candy gifts. One even used dark chocolate, my favorite.

I have decided that Diane's cinnamon rolls held on for the entire month. Diane is also a well known artist and my wish is to own one of her beautiful flower paintings. My ship will have to come in first, however. I doubt if she uses this honor on her resume, but congratulations to Diane, the 2006 Route Two Bake Off Winner!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Monument Colorado Snow Report

So far we have 2' on the ground and counting. The snow should be blowing out by this afternoon and then comes the shoveling! Thank goodness for snowblowers.
All this snow does put me in the Christmas mood though...bring on the presents!!!!
Submitted by son, Doug

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

White or Multi

Christmas lights, that is. For the past few years I have been a "dyed in the wool" white light person. White lights on my tree, around the windows and on the front porch. This year, however, I am enjoying multi lights in more places. My tree is still white, but both porches have multi and the Fig trees in the livingroom have tiny multi colored lights. Maybe it is my mood this year. I asked Dan if he was feeling multicolored or white, he said he wasn't feeling anything concerning lights. I don't think he had given it enough thought because everyone has a preference.

Last year I posted an article about Christmas light preference printed several years ago in USA Today. The link is here. If you have a few minutes extra, read and enjoy.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Kansas Christmas Quest: Part II

Saturday morning found us in a parking lot near downtown Cottonwood Falls. We enjoyed our leftover chicken fried steak and coffee for breakfast and took off. I wanted to see the sunrise over the Flint Hills. We continued south on Hwy 57 , part of the Flint Hills Scenic Byway. The sun was just peeking over the horizen as we stopped at an overlook. What a beautiful sight; the hills as far as we could see and cattle still grazing despite the time of year. We enjoyed the beautiful hills, impressive barns and rock fences as we continued toward the Matfield Green entrance to the turnpike.

In no time, we were in Wichita. Gander Mountain, our destination, is a outdoor/sporting store located in downtown Wichita near their convention center. It seems out of place but very good planning on the part of Wichita to bring people to the center of town. We spent several hours looking around before heading toward home. As we left the parking lot, we knew we were in outdoor country when we spotted a bumper sticker reading, "If we're not supposed to eat animals, why did God make them out of meat".

We again exited at Matfield Green exit on the KTA because the Cassody Cafe located in the town by the same name nearby was on the Best Chicken Fried Steak list and we were hungey. I actually think we would have eaten it again if it would have been available, but the cook only serves it on Thursdays. We settled for their buffet of fried chicken and homemade beef and noodles. The gravy there was delicious. I would say if you are anywhere near, stop just for that. I passed on a wonderful selection of desserts for a second bowl of gravy.

As we entered KTA again, the lady at the toll booth acknowledged it was our third time through that day and mentioned we were sure busy. We laughed and headed home.